Nicolas Simion was born in 1959 in the Carpathian Mountains and studied classical music in Bucharest. He developed a preference for improvised music and in the early 1980's he started his first band, which quickly became the most successful jazz formation in the country. Simion's saxophone playing is powerful and primitive, vibrates with energy and is nonetheless melodic. Béla Bartók has influenced his music, as have the melodies and rhythms of the folk music of his native Rumania. Simion fuses his jazz sound with American bebop, hardbop, funk, and with elements of world music and free improvisation.